Hundreds of surgeries canceled over strike at academic hospitals
Thousands of employees of the seven university medical centers in the Netherlands are striking on Tuesday. As a result, over 200 surgeries were cancelled, at a time that hospitals are still struggling to catch up on the coronavirus-backlog, AD reports after talking to the organizer of the strike - trade union FNV Zorg en Welzijn.
With the 24-hour strike, hospital workers are asking for "fairer working conditions", including a "decent wage increase" for all employees and good agreements on reducing the workload. The hospitals will work on the "Sunday care" schedule during the strike, only admitting patients for urgent care. That means admissions to the emergency room, intensive care, oncology, heart monitoring, and maternity departments. Radiology, the operating rooms, laboratories and nursing wards will not take in any patients on Tuesday.
According to FNV Zorg en Welzijn, at least 225 surgeries were canceled due to the strike. "Of the 54 planned operations at UMC Groningen, two are still scheduled. So 52 were cancelled," spokesperson Danielle van Essen said to the newspaper. "At the UMC Utrecht it concerns another 85 operations, at the LUMC in Leiden about 50 to 60 and at the UMC in Maastricht 30 of the 40 planned operations were canceled."
"We understand that this is a far-reaching action, but we also believe that the pressure under which employees at the UMCs have to work leads to unhealthy situations for employees and patients,' FNV Zorg en Welzijn director Elise Merlijn said.